Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Porter Melmoth said...

In the midst of the live frenzy surrounding the release of the N. Korean showcase journalists by Bill Clinton, M. Del Barker made a slip-up (I was fully conscious when I heard it, I think...). She referred to Al Gore as PRESIDENT Al Gore, and Inskreep, deft verbalist that he is, did a bail-out correction by following up with a 'proper' NPR-policy title for him: 'Former Vice-President Al Gore...'

(Correction: FORMER PRESIDENT Bill Clinton..)

Also, recycled from yesterday:

How unfortunate, even hideous, that listeners to NPR who are sincerely interested in Africa are getting such awful reports from NPR's Gwen Thompkins. Today she tapped into interesting literary figures, but, characteristically, turned it into a Disneyland expedition into bozo-quality bumbling along. Her most memorable observation about Ugandan author David Kaiza was that his aviator sunglasses are way too large for his head.

What ever would she do if she had to interview Elton John?

At least Quist-Arcton - out of DAKAR - is far enough away from NPR HQ to keep her identity - something that all-American Gwen would be loath to do.

PS: the 'new' NPR website shows aggressive influence from girl-wonder Viv Shill-er. Bigger type, more flab, and dumbed-down. Of course.


I think every morning Mara Lia(r)sson must fall on her knees and thank her lucky stars for Juan Williams his hackery and unprofessional conduct almosts makes you forget what tool she is.

Liasson: ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program ‘is like a mini-Katrina.’

Porter Melmoth said...

It's all part of the Foxy friendliness that transcends location.

Mytwords said...

I think Mara just rechristened herself: NPR's own Mini-Katrina!

Porter Melmoth said...

I can just imagine the clubby cocktail hour that the Foxes of Sunday Morn enjoy after the show. After an exhausting hour of playing footsie with Billy the Kid Kristol, Maw-ra can smooch up a storm in that dark, sexy lounge, where Yawn lurks in corners in search of fairness and balance.

(Soon to be a cable soap opera, a la 'Mad Men'...)

Anonymous said...


Could the series be named Sad, Man?


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Great stories in The Nation and on Democracy Now regarding Blackwater (now known as 'Xe'). Doubt NPR will touch it.

Anonymous said...

Ombudsman got a post explianing why the word goddamn can't appear but god damn can. Fascinating that she would spend time on that crap when she still hasn't acknowledged the torture fiasco.


Kevan Smith said...

Anon, NPR bleeped the obscenities and left in Goddamn. Some listeners complained, leading to a round of hand wringing. But I find it very revealing that in the very same clip they left in the racist word Haji, yet no one even batted an eye.

Hubertg said...

Two chicks sneek into one of the most heinous places on the planet, get popped in there, and thrown down. Months later a former president of the USA gets 'm out.
How friggin' heart warming can you get ? I ain't the sharpest tool in the box, but those ladies were extrodinarily stupid to begin with.
Shoulda left 'm there. The debate this morning on whether Bill should have gone there or not, was a ridiculous waste of air time.



G.D. awesome post on the Ombudsman's thread today.

Mytwords said...

Thanks grumpy!

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Anent the 'girl journos":

they were sent to N.Korea as provocateurs.

They crossed into N.Korea illegally, were detained, tried, sentenced and then released.

In Iraq, USers kill journos who don't follow our "rules."

We also captured and detained HUNDREDS of innocents, who are still in captivity.

But the SCUM (SoCalledUnbiasedMedia) engage in paroxysms of jingoistic self- and national-applause.

I pointed this out on a couple of sites today and was accused of being anti-Murkin, a neo-con, and an america hater...


Did any of you guys see this, it's part of NPR smear sharing agreement with the NRO.

It's an actual pro-Birther column from the NRO. How low can NPR go?

"National Review Online: Suborned In the U.S.A. by Andrew C. McCarthy"

Anonymous said...

LOL NPR and the batshit crazy birthers! Too funny! Thanks Grumpy!

Anonymous said...

Ombudsman got a post explianing why the word goddamn can't appear but god damn can

Alicia Shpeard is a goddamn f***ing idiot.

It is simply amazing to think that she gets paid $150K per year for the crap that she writes.

Compare that to the salary of the average teacher in this country (who actually provides something of value to our society) and you will see why our country is going down a rat hole.

In my opinion, Shepard represents everything that is wrong with journalism in this country. She's an incompetent, incoherent, ignorant, apologist for the corporate elite.

Mytwords said...

Can someone provide the source for Ombudsman's salary?

larry, dfh said...

Yes, Juan, heard the DN blackwater piece today on this cute little radio station. It was funny because I was in the car with my sister and BiL and their kids and had just gone on an npr rant and had to explain what Pacifica was, and then Amy Goodman came on the radio, like magic.

larry, dfh said...

Sorry, the link is

Anonymous said...

Back when Dr. Dvorkian was ombudsman, he was getting paid $144K in salary.

There used to be a site on the web that published the info, but it has long since disappeared.

I have no up to date info for Shepard's salary, but I assume she is probably making NO LESS than Dvorkin. I readily admit that I base that on nothing more than the assumption that they would probably have a major sexism scandal on their hands if they paid a woman less than a man for that position.

You might say my my beef with the ombudsman at NPR goes back to the very beginning of ombudsman at NPR.

Shepard is simply a continuation of Dr. Dvorkian, as far as I can see.

They have both been worse than worthless. Both little more than apologists for what goes on in NPR management and at NPR in general.

Anonymous said...

See the salaries posted by Dr Know at this site

Jeffrey Dvorkin, Ombudsman
Compensation: $148,837
Benefits: $25,611
Total: $174,448

That's just about what i remembered seeing.

I said $144k above, but that may have been from a year previous or something.

Anyway, $150K salary for the NPR ombuttsman is right on the money, so to speak.

And as I indicated above, I very seriously doubt they are paying Shepard any less. I don't think they could justify it (not with her "nearly 3o years of journalism experience" and all.

What a joke.


NPR gives failed former intrem Ambassador and Assitant to the Manger a uncritical platform and the peasents revolt!

More that 130 comments 95%+ negative! Poor John can't even get the Winger Trolls to defend him.


Oops, laughing too hard forgot the link:

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...


Even smart Goopers understood that Bolton was a huge d-bag. The stupid Goopers don't have the slightest idea who he was!


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Two things (among many but I am only on this Earth for a short time):

Bolton claimed N. Korea "kidnapped" the journaLISTS and was not challenged by either Block or Madeline Whatever. The host did describe Bolton as coming from AEI a "conservative" think tank. I suspect that kind of thing will stop cAUSE it makes it easier to chart the overwhelming use of right/conservative "think tanks". Either that or NPR will present some very interesting Progressive/Liberal think tanks.


Anonymous said...

Ombudsman sent me e-mail today saying that she couldn't find anything on NPR that was called "Impact of War". It took me less than a minute to google and caqme up with this:

She claimed neither her nor two other producers knew what I was talking about. Now, I should believe her when she tells me there is/was no funding for this propaganda project? Cause I can see the future my friends.

I will post both her e-mail and my reply when I'm chilled enough to respond to her BS.



Anonymous said...

Dear Ed:

Got your email. I’m not sure what series you are talking about. I need more information to be able to get you an answer. I sent your query to two editors that cover the war and its impact, and they said the same thing. Need links or dates or anything else so I can help you.

Alicia Shepard

Alicia Shepard

NPR Ombudsman

To read latest Ombudsman posting, please go to:


Anonymous said...

I googled the terms Impact of War npr and in less than a minute I found this:

And you and two editors that cover the war know nothing about it? How do you expect me to take your answer seriously when you can't find this which runs on YOUR network?


b!!!p!!!f!!!b!!! said...

Lovely cavalcade o' Q-Tips here, just as it should be - at last, at last!

Nothin' of any pertinence to add, jus' had to bump it up to an even 3-0.

Yours truly,
The vigilantly boycotting bunny~

JayV said...

'Like soap in a rainstorm, “healthcare reform” is wasting away.

As this week began, a leading follower of conventional wisdom, journalist Cokie Roberts, told NPR listeners: “This is evolving legislation. And the administration is now talking about a glide path towards universal coverage, rather than immediate universal coverage.”

Notions of universal healthcare are fading in the power centers of politics -- while more and more attention focuses on the care and feeding of the insurance industry.

Consider a new message that just went out from Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee, which inherited the Obama campaign’s 13-million email list. The short letter includes the same phrase seven times: “health insurance reform.”'

Anonymous said...

Is there any doubt Liarsonn's comment was part of some RNC circulated list of talking points for the week?

RepubLiecan said...

This morning I accidentally listened to the lead in for the upcoming hour's stories on Morning Edition. Two of the stories were described as voters having concerns about changes within health care reform and some brave Republiecan senator who bucked his party by voting to confirm Sonia Sotomayor but still vigorously opposes the president's health care reform.... as if anyone knows what those even are.

I have to be quicker in switching from The Radio Reader to classical music so I don't have to hear NPR's campaign against health care reform.

biggerbox said...

Linda Wertheimer had Judd Gregg on this morning, giving him the same treatment she gave Kyl the other day. Did I miss her having someone like Russ Feingold or Bernie Sanders on and giving them permission to say whatever they wanted about health care? Gregg was long on distortion and inflammatory opinion, and short on actual fact, but Linda didn't bat an eye.

It's embarrassing to see how far NPR has fallen.

JayV said...

Excellent overview from AJE, via The Real News Network.

"Al Jazeera's Fault Lines looks at the US health care system, expose its cracks, and uncover the forces that are spending millions of dollars every day to influence the debate over the US health care reform." (You won't find NPR or PBS covering it like this.) Features Wendell Potter, ex-CIGNA PR exec.

biggerbox said...

Say, how about that story on ME about the feedback Alabama Congressmen were getting at town hall meetings, with lots of soundbites of people reciting various propagandized distortions, and no mention of the massive astroturfing effort? No, I take that back, at the very, very end, they mentioned that one Congressman had said there were some people who were distorting the issue, followed by a quote from a man asking who to trust.

Not NPR, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...


and the other two were admitted Blue Dogs.

NPR: Out foxing Fox!


Anonymous said...

And the notOmbudsman:

Ed --- Thank you for following up and getting back to me. I now realize how this must look. But the confusion is over NPR running two Impact of War series.

One editor’s project works with member stations on their local coverage of the domestic impact of the two wars. That is a separate project but it also coincides at times with NPR’s ongoing network coverage of the wars and their domestic impact as well, including the national security team, and Daniel Zwerdling’s work and others.

Now, for the answer. “There is no financial backing from DOD or the military connected to our coverage of the Marine battalion in Afghanistan,” according to Bruce Auster, who is the editor on the Impact of War coverage.

I hope that helps. Thank you again for writing.

Alicia Shepard

I was afraid she would claim that rogue elements and some bad apples had just went ahead and put this propaganda effort together.

At least I got her on record because one day I will stumble upon "the truth".


Kevan Smith said...

Speaking of the impact of war, I hope everyone has read the Colorado Springs Gazette's excellent two-parter:

Honest coverage like NPR doesn't do.


"The Radio Reader"

I smell a South Carolinian in the comments section.

My better half, Cordial Demo, family is in Greenville, SC.

It's always fun to visit SC, when the clock radio kicks on, Radio Reader start (books on radio) I always feel like I'm ease dropping because it's always in the middle of a novel, I never want to read.

larry, dfh said...

Rie. evening what little I heard on atc had some jackass radio host from San Diego vs. some Hispanic woman editor on the Sotomajor confirmations. The jackass was al about 'activist judges', that tired old chestnut of the wingnuts. No mention that the rhenquist court was demonstrably the most activist court, EVAH. Really, they're niether journalists nor entertainers at npr, they're the fill between the 'he said she said' bullshit. Truth?, accuracy?, integrity? why bother? Give me a 'he said she said' and a paycheck.

Porter Melmoth said...

Joanne Silburned-out always sounds like she's whining to her junior high school nurse about how her classmates don't like her because she's simply (but perpetually) telling them about the constipation, bunions, scorpion bites, elephantiasis, boils, tapeworm appearances, and a rotating selection of assorted plague symptoms that regularly, well, plague her.

And the nurse replies, 'Joanne, I know you crave attention, but you're so dreary, I'm afraid you'll never have any friends. Solution: plan to be a sickly-sounding investigative reporter in the pathology field or something. You're sure to gain sympathy - and attention - by making people worry about inevitable disease.'

And Joanne took heart and did just that.

Her withered whinings are almost as bad as Blob Siegel's elitist bemusement.

Well gang, if you do one thing this weekend, do it without NPR.

b g!p nk!f zzy!b nny! said...

Got that right, Port. And been doin' it successfully for a good couple a' years now... thanks in no small part to the morale boost by our nifty lil' support group here.

Been meaning to ask also, is that Cagney in your thumbnail? I'm admittedly stumped.

Porter Melmoth said...

Hey b!, it's the late, great Larry Olivier, as Archie Rice in 'The Entertainer' (1960). I honor his memory.

larry, dfh said...

That letter from the ombud was hilarious: sleazy shepard throwing the Zwerdling leftist sucker-punch. She didn't mention that he's back at H.Q. with his nuts in a vice, and that they shove a mic. in his face every 5 months to see if he's still breathing.
And that report in the Colorado Srings Gazette article was discussed on DemocracyNOw! Whoda thunk people would come back from a war as sociopaths? Who having seen what happened with VietNam would have thought this terrible situation would NOT be repeated?

James said...

Regarding the interview today on All Things Considered with an anti-health care reform protester ....

Hey everyone -- remember how during the eight years of the Bush administration, some anonymous left wing demonstrator would shout political slogans at a Republican official, and then NPR would give that left wing demonstrator a one-on-one interview on All Things Considered, and the left wing demonstrator would get the last word on an important political issue?

Oh, you dont remember that?

Me neither.

g!k!y!y! said...

That was hil-Larry-us, Lar.

Unleashed-ya Shemp-heard: 3rd Dan Black Belt in the ancient arts of deflection, projection, obliviation & plain ol' CYA.

Anonymous said...


Having been to DC in 04 I know there were demonstrators at the coronation. I know some were assualted by police and I know some were arrested. Yet NPR never saw it at all. But . . . let a 100 people show up in Iran and Schuster is all over it.


ps: There was a show called "Selected Shorts" that ran here until they booted it and brought in clowns. I loved falling asleep to the sound of a voice telling a story. Didn't even matter what the subject was ( my personal favorite was listening to a reading of the original Mr. Ed. Quite different from TV version.

Anonymous said...

This piece by Howard Berkes is what NPR used to be, before it became co-opted by the pompous, know it all fools like Michelle Norris, Steve Inskeep, Vivian Schiller, Alicia Shepard, Don Gonyea, etc, etc.

Unlike the latter, Berkes actually lets the people and their experiences in his stories do the talking.

Norris and the others have no clue what real readio is supposed to be about. For them, it's ALL about the money and sounding "smart" on the air.